This Fender Custom Shop 65 Stratocaster Journeyman Relic in Candy Apple Red weighs in at 7 lbs 15 oz. This special guitar was put together after years of research concerning a particular guitar that Jimi Hendrix was spotted playing for a short while. Call it a passion project for Pete Flynn, a certified Hendrix-nut, this guitar IS NOT a Hendrix Signature Model but it is a painstakingly accurate reproduction of the exact guitar he played during a brief but important part of his career. Read on for an incredible story and to learn more about this fantastic guitar!
From Pete Flynn... I custom ordered this from the Fender Custom Shop a year ago. A clone of the Jimi Hendrix' '65 Candy Apple Red Strat that he played on Are You Experienced?, and at many concerts in '67 including the famed last concert at the Seville Theater in London before he departed for the States for the Monterey Pop Festival. Read on for the full back story!
The elusive 1965 maple cap/laminated fingerboard Stratocaster with transitional logo, F plate, alder body, custom color. In my research, for the last year, I have only discovered eight Stratocasters that roughly fit into this category. First; it all started with the fact that I’m a huge Jimi Hendrix fan.
I really was paying attention to this one particular Candy Apple Red Strat that Jimi had used for a few short months in the UK before he came to the USA for the famed Monterey Pop Festival.
The guitar that Jimi was playing happened to be a special ordered Custom Color in Candy Apple Red with a custom order maple fingerboard. The maple fingerboard was not an option until late 1965 when Fender changed the headstock to the newer larger size. The guitar also sported an “F” plate neck plate making it a late ’65 production. Another feature was the transitional decal logo that started in 1964.
It has to be mentioned that any custom color would have been rare in the 1960s. Red was particularly a popular color in the UK because of guitarist Hank Marvin who played a late 50s Strat in Fiesta Red with gold hardware and a maple neck (a maple neck with a rear-loaded skunk stripe truss rod, not the maple cap of the 63-65 small headstock era). Because of this, most of the red Strat’s were custom ordered from dealers overseas and these guitars ended up in the hands of collectors in Europe. Rarely would a red Strat from this era turn up in the States.
This is where the Candy Apple Red Hendrix Strat comes in. I have only been able to locate one other 1965 CAR Strat with a maple cap in Germany, but, it has a non-F plate neck plate with the “L” series serial number so it is not exactly like the Hendrix guitar. It appears that the Hendrix Strat is the only one with these exact details and features that was ever built and or ordered.
So my research has turned up these eight guitars: 1. Stratocaster refinished in gold that was originally red. At one time this guitar was appraised by Gruhn Guitars in Nashville and listed on Reverb.com. This guitar has a 1962 spaghetti logo maple cap neck, with a 1963 body date and gold hardware fashioned with an “L” plate serial number. 2. 1964 Stratocaster in Firemist Gold with a maple cap “L” plate serial# L47091 with spaghetti logo. This guitar appears on page 32 in the Japanese book Galaxy of Strats. 3. 1964 Strat pictured in FireMist Gold, maple cap, in the May 1997 Vintage Guitar magazine. 4. 1964 Strat at Dave’s Guitars in Lacrosse, WI. with serial number L90333 in 3 tone Sunburst, maple cap, and transitional logo. 5. 1965 Strat in Candy Apple Red, maple cap, “L” plate, transitional logo, and June of 65 neck. Sold from Guitar Point in Germany. 6. 1965 Strat in 3 Tone Sunburst, maple cap, L plate, #L46968, transitional logo, sold by Fretted Americana Inc, Rare Vintage Guitars 7. 1965 Strat, maple cap, ash body, Blonde refinish, tortoiseshell pickguard, gold hardware, transitional logo, #L63394 8. 1965 Strat, maple cap, trans blonde with gold hardware, River City Guitars 9. Hendrix Strat, CAR, 1965, F neck plate, transitional logo, maple cap.
To make things even more interesting, the photographic evidence shows Hendrix playing this guitar in April, May, and June of 1967 live and in the studio. There is a picture that engineer Eddie Kramer took of Jimi during the recording sessions of the debut album Are You Experienced using the Strat. I’ve found that Jimi used this guitar extensively live during such performances as;
April 4 1967 BBC Purple Haze
April 1967 studio recordings, specifically Are You Experienced, May This Be Love
Olympic Sound Studios; possibly on Mr. Bad Luck, Taking Care of No Business, and Cat Talking To Me
Substantiated use at:
5-7-67 Saville Theater
5-10-67 Top of the Pops, Lime Grove TV Studios, aired on 5-18-67
5-11-67 French TV, Salle Municipal
5-15-67 Neve Welt, Hassenheide, Berlin, Germany
5-16-67 Big Apple, Munchen, Germany
5-19-67 Gotenburg, Sweden
5-21-67 Copenhagen, Denmark
5-22-67 Helsinki, Finland
5-23-67 Malmo, Sweden
5-24-67 TV Popside, Stockholm, Sweden
5-24-67 Tivoli Gardens, Grona Lund, Dans In, Stockholm, Sweden
5-27-67 Star Place, Keil
6-4-67 Saville Theater, London, England
It was during this time that Jimi is seen playing the CAR Strat and a Fiesta Red Strat with a rosewood fingerboard at his live shows. It is important to note that Jimi had both these infamous Strats in his possession at the same time period. Jimi bought a can of white spray paint and painted both red Strats, primarily on the backside of the guitars, and then painted some words/a poem to thank the guitars for being sacrificed. He smashed the CAR Strat at the Saville Theater at his last show in the UK. Eight days later he boarded a plane with the hand-painted Fiesta Red Strat that he burned and smashed at the now infamous Monterey Pop Festival.
In October of 2020, I ordered a duplicate of Jimi’s 65 CAR Strat from the Fender Custom Shop. As of this writing, it is the only known Strat to be built just like the Hendrix Strat since 1965.
The Music Gallery has been a Fender Custom Shop dealer since its formation in 1987. We keep a bevy of Fender Custom Shop instruments in stock at all times. Whether you're looking for a Stratocaster, Telecaster, Precision Bass, Jazz Basses, Jaguar, or Jazzmaster, we can help you design or find the special instrument you're looking for!